In 2009 Stephanie Hicks, who will be 12 on November 30, asked her mother if she could learn to play the guitar, and because there were no guitar tutors in Tatura, Debbie Simms, who taught keyboard was the next option.November 20, 2013 9:15am
Former Tatura resident Stephanie Hicks’ musical career is going ahead in leaps and bounds in Mackay.
Later that year her parents, Bert and Annette Hicks, decided on a lifestyle change moving to Mackay in north Queensland.
Steph had just completed two terms of grade two at Tatura Primary School when she and the family headed off ‘‘on an adventure’’.
‘‘On leaving Tatura, I recall Debb (Simms) making me promise to keep Steph going with piano, which was no easy task,’’ Mrs Hicks said.
‘‘When we arrived in Mackay, I found it difficult to find Steph a piano teacher, because they were all at maximum numbers with students.
‘‘It wasn’t until the following year, January 2010, I found a teacher, thus enabling Steph to continue with piano lessons.’’
In October, 2010, Steph performed at her first Eisteddfod and got a taste of success. For her, it was just fun, and if a trophy came along, that was a bonus.
‘‘Each year she has worked harder putting extra practice in. This year Steph competed in piano, guitar and as a solo singer, and we were so proud of her after she received a first place in pianoforte, guitar, and received high marks with her singing,’’ Mrs Hicks told the Guardian.
‘‘She is also a talented tenor sax player in a concert and instrumental band at school, which also got first placing.
‘‘Steph just loves performing and her natural ability to read music makes it look so easy. Her musical talent has taken her to workshops at Queensland University.
‘‘We were fortunate Steph’s piano teacher’s son teaches guitar, so in 2012 she started learning the guitar.’’
Mrs Hicks said one of her daughter’s other great loves was horse riding, which was introduced to her by her grandfather Vince Cummins.
Steph attends the Debbie Burrows School of Riding weekly and netball. Steph, who will go to Northern Beaches State High School next year, keeps her mother and father busy, ‘‘but we wouldn’t have it any other way,’’ Mrs Hicks said.
‘‘I don’t have to ask her to practise. Anything that Steph takes on she gives 110 per cent. She is an amazing young lady with a bright future.’’
Mrs Hicks said Steph would always call Tatura home, because her nanna, Joan Cummins, still lives in the town, as do many other relatives, all of whom she misses.
‘‘But for the time being, it’s a pretty good lifestyle living on the coast in the tropics of north Queensland,’’ she said.
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